Archive for the ‘Demographics’ Category

One third of the world was born after 9/11

September 8, 2021

Demographic trivia

Tomorrow Not tomorrow, but in 3 days it will be twenty years since 9/11/2001 (11th of September 2001).

  • 33% of the global population (2.6 billion) is under 20 years old.
  • Only 8% (0.65 billion) of the global population was alive during the Second World War.
  • 35% of the world lived in a time without mobile phones.
  • The median age of the global population is 31 years.
  • 150 million (1.9%) are over the age of 80 and of these 600,000 people are over 100 years old.
  • Aging populations are strongly corelated with declining crime rates.
  • Since 1920, average global height has increased by about 9 cm.
  • Most people born today will see a global population decline in their lifetimes.
image: visualcapitalist

New challenges as global population will start declining already in the 2060s

January 24, 2021

The new challenge for the 22nd century, which will override almost all the perceived challenges and existential threats of today, will be population decline. How our intricately connected and interdependent world for food production, manufacturing, financial services, health services, education and leisure will be able to cope with a declining population, a declining work force and an increasing proportion of population (<20, >70) being non-productive, will be the dominating challenge faced by humanity. The pressure on some resources will clearly decrease. The further development and spread of automation will become an absolute must. The increasing use of “smart” contraptions with some embedded AI and the increasing interconnections between smart devices will be the primary means of compensating for the decline in humans available. Paradoxically, increasing automation and the increasing interconnections between our smart devices will probably lead to a decline in the interdependence of humans on each other. Each individual will be more dependent upon interconnected devices but less dependent upon other humans. Human independence – from other humans – could reach levels not seen since before the industrial revolution, but by choice rather than enforced.

The UN medium forecast based on the continuing decline in world fertility has the world reaching peak population at just over 11 billion just before 2100. But fertility rates are declining faster than the medium forecast.

Global fertility is falling faster than any prediction. It has reached critical levels in Japan and parts of Eastern Europe. Iran is providing incentives for increasing birth rates. In most of the EU countries it is only immigration and its consequence on fertility which is delaying the inevitable decline in fertility rates. The increased fertility rates among immigrant communities declines within a generation to match the “indigenous” rates. The Chinese population is already in decline. The Indian population will peak before 2050 rather than around 2070. Even Nigeria where population was expected to peak after 2100 will now reach its maximum probably by 2090, or even earlier.

New studies (The Lancet, July 14, 2020, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30677-2 ) now put the global population reaching a peak of 9.7 billion by 2064 and declining to 8.8 billion by 2100.

The work force decline has already started in China. In India it will start declining by 2050. It has become blindingly apparent during the corona virus pandemic that it is the work force which is both the “blood” which circulates and keeps our societies alive, and it is the glue which holds our societies together. It is in compensating for these human functions that automation and “smart” devices with some AI will come increasingly into play. A natural consequence is that having smarter devices leads to a fundamental change in the classic centralised- distributed paradigm. More smarts locally leads to more and narrower specialisation centrally.

I see the growing independence of individuals as inevitable with a declining human population together with smarter devices serving us. Smarter diagnostics and basic, automated health care locally is then complemented by fewer, very specialised central hospitals. The catchment area has to increase as the specialisations become narrower. (As is already happening in Scandinavia). Increasing on-line learning (local) is then complemented by specialised learning at the – fewer – centres. (As is already happening in Japan). Manufacturing (including food production and even farming) is increasingly automated.

In the 22nd and 23rd centuries there will not be a shortage of resources (food or water or energy), and there will be no shortage of growth as smart machines take over the boring and the mundane jobs, and there will be no decline in human ingenuity and creativity. But there may be a shortage of human companionship.


The alarmist population explosion meme bites the dust

July 15, 2020

Alarmist memes eventually die as the world stubbornly refuses to end. The impending catastrophe due to a population explosion has been a popular doomsday scenario pushed by the politically sanctimonious for over 40 years. However, the drop in fertility rates and the coming population implosion has been obvious for years. But it has been politically incorrect to say such a thing.

(See this for example from 2016 Population implosion has started).

The BBC is one of the leaders in pushing politically correct and alarmist themes. But the worm is turning.

Fertility rate: ‘Jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born

The world is ill-prepared for the global crash in children being born which is set to have a “jaw-dropping” impact on societies, say researchers. Falling fertility rates mean nearly every country could have shrinking populations by the end of the century. And 23 nations – including Spain and Japan – are expected to see their populations halve by 2100. Countries will also age dramatically, with as many people turning 80 as there are being born.

The fertility rate – the average number of children a woman gives birth to – is falling. If the number falls below approximately 2.1, then the size of the population starts to fall. In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime. Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation showed the global fertility rate nearly halved to 2.4 in 2017 – and their studypublished in the Lancet, projects it will fall below 1.7 by 2100.

As a result, the researchers expect the number of people on the planet to peak at 9.7 billion around 2064, before falling down to 8.8 billion by the end of the century. “That’s a pretty big thing; most of the world is transitioning into natural population decline,” researcher Prof Christopher Murray told the BBC. “I think it’s incredibly hard to think this through and recognise how big a thing this is; it’s extraordinary, we’ll have to reorganise societies.”

………


 

Middle class demographics will cause Indian stock market capitalisation to grow by a factor of 20 till 2050

April 4, 2019

The underlying Indian stock market growth is fueled by a burgeoning middle class with a voracious appetite for owning stocks.

The BSE Sensex is India¨s primary stock index. The Bombay Stock Market has been going for some 140 years (formed 1875) but the Sensex Index of 30 shares was established in 1986 and set its reference value of 100 on a base date chosen to be 1st April 1979.  It is now 40 years since the base date and the index stands at over 39,000. For stock investors this represents an annual rate of growth over the 40 years of over 17%.

Rather than a measure of – except indirectly – of the economy or industrialisation, I see the BSE Sensex as primarily a measure of the appetite for investing in stocks. As such, it is a phenomenon of, and by, and for, the “middle class”. Much of the growth of the index is thus due to new owners of stocks entering the market.

It is thought that India has around 25 million owners of stocks. There are many definitions of the “middle-class”. I find defining the middle-class by the number of households with a disposable, annual income of over $10,000 is probably the best indicator of the number of stock investors. By this measure the number of stock investors is about half the number of such households. Currently – 2019 – the number of such households is about 50 million and covers 120 – 150 million of the total population of 1,300 million.

The Indian population will probably reach around 1,500 million and start declining after 2050. It can be expected that the growth of the stock-owning middle-class will keep increasing till then and even for a decade or two after population decline begins. A not-unreasonable projection would be that the underlying growth of the stock index will follow the appetite for owning stocks.

The total number of shares available, the number of investors available and the price of the shares are inextricably linked with the state of the economy. An increasing appetite for a fixed number of available shares will follow the number of investors available. This would increase both share price and market capitalisation. However the number of shares available will, given even a modest growth in the economy, probably track the growth in total population.  However, the underlying growth over the next 30 years is unlikely to reach the heights of the last 40 years. A saturation law applies and my expectation would be a growth in the index of between 2 and 3 times the current value. Since the number of investors would have grown by a factor of 8 this implies that the total capitalisation of Indian companies on the stock market could be closer to 20 times higher than now.


 

Every EU country has a fertility rate below the replenishment level

March 14, 2019

Any group of people will eventually become extinct if its fertility rate stays below the replenishment level (2.1 births per woman).  The EU faces the parallel dilemmas of how to

  1. reconcile decreasing fertility rates with any growth strategy
  2. avoiding cultural fragmentation while increasing “non-European” immigration
  3. pay for pensions and the care of the ageing population with a declining “native-born” working population

Eurostat has released its “Birth and Fertility” statistics.

5.075 million babies were born in the EU in 2017, down from 5.148 million in 2016. The total fertility rate reduced to 1.59 births per woman, also down from 1.60 the year before. No country came anywhere near the 2.1 births per woman needed to replenish any population.

France had the highest fertility rate at 1.90 births per woman, followed by Sweden (1.78), Ireland (1.77), Denmark (1.75), and the United Kingdom (1.74). The lowest fertility rates were in Malta (1.26), Spain (1.31), Italy and Cyprus (both 1.32), Greece (1.35), Portugal (1.38), and Luxembourg (1.39).

The average age of first-time mothers is also increasing, at 29.1 compared to 29.0 years in 2016.

The politically correct belief in the EU is that getting a large number of migrants from Africa will boost the work-force and allow pensions and healthcare for the elderly to be maintained. However this has been shown to be a little naive. Many new downsides have been introduced by the new migrants since they have been – relatively – unschooled, unskilled, reluctant to integrate and often requiring a much greater degree of state support, and for a much longer time, than the politicians had hoped for. Many migrants have been slower to enter the work-place than hoped. New stresses are being introduced by the reluctance (or the inability) of the migrants to adapt.

Using immigration alone as an alternative to having children can never work. It only ensures the extinction of the “native population”. Having fewer children in all cases will always lead to the native population becoming extinct. Having fewer children and simultaneously having more immigration, only means that the native born population is swamped and suppressed before becoming extinct. EU politicians are often so enamoured of their pet theories that they are in denial about reality. Immigration can help to provide a demographic breathing space for a limited period and provided the number of migrants can be assimilated. But a permanent, continuous stream of immigration to keep a country alive, while the native population declines, is absurd.

The simple demographic reality (which a few of the Eastern European countries have started to realise) is that any population – if it wants to survive – needs to replenish its children.

The Hungarians have been criticised by the politically correct part of the EU for introducing incentives for having children. This criticism is particularly short-sighted (if not plain stupid). The EU needs fertility rates to increase and soon. Incentives for having children are inevitable and will become standard in almost every country.


 

Abortion now a significant demographic parameter

January 15, 2019

During 2018, it is estimated that around 140 million babies were born and that around 60 million people died. The global population had reached 7.7 billion at the end of 2018.

In addition, around 41 million legal abortions were carried out in 2018. There may also be a significant number of illegal or unreported abortions so that the total number may be around 50 million.

Global fertility rates are declining inexorably. The number of babies born will be reducing over the next 100 years (with the biggest declines expected in Africa). The crude death rate is a balance between two trends; first the decline due to improving health care (and longevity) and second the increase due to an increasing population of the aged. By around 2090 deaths will exceed births and by 2100 the world population will be in decline.

Abortions are not recorded in either birth or death statistics. But what is not in doubt is that the actual number of babies born is almost 30% lower because of abortions. If abortions were included in both birth and death statistics the natural population increase (births minus deaths) would remain unchanged (190m-110m instead of 140m-60m). However, abortions would then be the single highest cause of death. The next highest cause of death would then be coronary artery disease (around 10m).

The long term, global, fertility and morbidity trends are not affected by the number of abortions. Even if no abortions took place, world population would still stabilise and then decline but this would be delayed by about 40 years (stabilisation and decline in 2130 instead of about 2090).

That abortion is now a significant demographic parameter is self-evident.

The morality or rightness of carrying out abortions is a different matter and primarily for women to decide on. The human species is the only one which has the ability to, and does, carry out intentional abortions. That women should be assisted to carry out abortions to preserve their health or for other necessary medical reasons (physical or mental) seems obvious.

I am not so sure that assisting abortions for the convenience of the mother or for covering up carelessness is equally justified. Or that 41 million legal abortions is a number to celebrate or to be particularly proud of.


 

Will “Americans” and “Europeans” ever become identifiable races?

April 25, 2018

Race is real and not just an imagined construct of modern times. Even two thousand years ago (about 100 generations) races were recognised and used as a classification. They were somewhat different to those recognised today – but not so very different. In the main, racial attribution followed known or assumed tribal affiliations and visible physical characteristics. Even in Roman times, members of the Celtic tribes and the Germanic tribes and Egyptians and Greeks and Africans were all depicted as differing in physical characteristics and of being of different races. Whether among the various European tribes or the 12 tribes of Israel or the castes established in India, parentage and ancestry manifested as visible, physical characteristics were – and still are – used in race classifications. It is virtually certain that the races that existed 2,000 years before the heyday of the Roman Empire were different again. If 5,000 years ago the Harappans were a race, their genes are now spread all over the sub-continent and they are are no longer identifiable.

Though classification of a race is by the visible attributes it is inevitable that they are accompanied by non-visible attributes. The non-visible attributes may show up as the ability to tolerate high altitude, or the aptitude for long distance running, or for sprinting, or for diving. They may include resistance to some diseases and a propensity for others. The non-visible attributes could include any characteristic dependant upon genetics. And even if politically incorrect to say so, it could include the genetic components of intelligence. Insofar as behaviour is determined genetically, a race may have characteristic behaviours.

  1. Race is a system of classification of humans by clustering their visible, physical attributes. The classification is real but is not static. It is dynamic in that the clustering may change over long time periods (hundreds of generations) as mixing or non-mixing between the clusters occurs. (One hundred generations would need about 2,000 years).
  2. Visible physical attributes are primarily determined by parentage and thus by ancestry and thus by genetics.
  3. Racial classification is therefore a genetic classification but sorted by visible characteristics.
  4. Differences in the visible attributes between clusters are emphasised when the clusters are genetically isolated from each other. Geographic isolation contributes but the critical point is genetic isolation.
  5. A particular race cluster persists only if breeding is constrained to be within and among members of the cluster.

Race is classification by snapshot – a current clustering by physical attributes. The clustering will change slowly over tens of generations but at every time, a snapshot of the current races will exist.

Great Britain has been a melting pot of peoples mainly from across Europe for 2,000 years. But the British “race” is still in flux. The US is often considered a melting pot for the blending of genes and it would then make sense for the gradual emergence of an “American” race. With the surge of emigration into Europe and the decline in fertility of the “native Europeans”, a gradual emergence of a “European” race would also seem probable. However the tendency of immigrant groups to marry among themselves and isolate their particular gene pools, works strongly against the emergence of new races.

If continuous, steady, immigration becomes the new normal and immigrant groups keep to themselves, it may never happen. If it does, I expect it will take more than a thousand years (50 generations) before the world sees an identifiable American or a European race.

But a thousand years hence there will still be clustering of peoples by visible, physical attributes and identification of peoples by the races of the day.

Skin colour is by far the most visible and thus the obvious attribute that is first used as a sorting criterion for race classification. I suspect that skin colour would dominate as the sorting criterion even if some race had some very significant, but less visible difference, such as – say – an extra finger.


Related:

The changing colours of the world’s population


 

Europe has to decide – immigration or tax incentives for having children

April 1, 2018

The latest fertility statistics in Europe present an unsustainable picture. Nowhere is the fertility rate at or higher than the replenishment rate of 2.1 live births per women. The average for Europe is under 1.6 with a mean age of 29 for a woman having her first child. France and Ireland have the highest rates but still less than 2.0 followed by Sweden, the UK and Iceland (all between 1.8 and 1.9). The lowest rates are in Poland, Portugal, Greece, Spain and Italy (all less than 1.4).

These levels are unsustainable.

A declining population if left to itself would lead to a catastrophic population implosion. The Black Death in England (1348-1350) reduced the population by over 30% and it took the country almost 100 years to recover. Europe today is relying on immigration to compensate for the low fertility. Initially, immigrants have a higher fertility rate than the society they move in to but within one generation they too display the prevailing fertility rates. Just relying on immigration creates social stresses and is also unsustainable.

Within the next twenty years most European countries will have no choice but to introduce tax incentives for having more children. In fact it is necessary now.


 

More mothers than fathers in the world

March 12, 2018

Just playing with the numbers.

Population trivia.

A very crude estimate suggests that about 1,000 million of the world’s 7,500 million are “only” children and have no siblings.


 

The New Eugenics

March 11, 2018

Eugenics, because of the way it was practised by the Nazis, has become a bit of a taboo word. But it has been practised in silence and by default for some time now.

ktwop (2013):

The trends I think are fairly clear. The proportion of “artificial births” is increasing and the element of genetic selection by screening for desired charateristics in such cases is on the increase. The number of abortions after conception would seem to be on its way to some “stable” level of perhaps 25% of all conceptions. The genetic content of the decision to abort however is also increasing and it is likely that the frequency of births where genetic disorders exist or where the propensity for debilitating disease is high will decrease sharply as genetic screening techniques develop further.

It is still a long way off to humans breeding for specific charateristics but even what is being practised now is the start of eugenics in all but name. And it is not difficult to imagine that eugenics – without any hint of coercion – but where parents or the mothers-to-be select for certain characteristics or deselect (by abortion) to avoid others in their children-to-be will be de rigueur.

As neonatal screening techniques improve, eugenics is no longer just by default but is increasingly due to an active choice being made. Down syndrome is already well on the way to being eradicated.


 


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